Varkala, India

After a teary farewell from Heathrow Terminal 4, Disco and I had an uneventful journey to Trivandrum airport via Delhi. Suji met us and drove the hour North to Varkala and it was with this view above that we woke up to on Thursday morning. The cliff is about 1km long and we were staying at the northern most end of it. Sea hawks swoop overhead and plunge into the sea diving for fish.

We were staying at the super cute Bamboo Village which was, as my dad would say, perfectly fine. It had a working fan and that is what’s important. We ventured out to find a yoga class that we had read about I had read about on the Internet but were told that he was off travelling during the off season so we stumbled upon the next yoga class  about 10m away and signed up for classes with the lovely Chandra. 

He was super encouraging and, more importantly, the class had lots of time lying with our backs on the mat with our eyes shut relaxing.  We had two personal classes then joined the group hatha classes. For £4 a go it was a veritable bargain and with the temperatures 25 degrees plus it could have passed for bikram by the time we were finished. We are certainly not pros yet, but over the week progress has been made and we have invested in two yoga mats so we might master the headstand that he tried to teach us yet…

Most afternoons we headed to the beach and rented a parasol to share with the many stray dogs that wander the beaches and cafes in Varkala. The local lifeguards made friends with Disco, eventually. He managed to cause a bit of a stir by actually going into the water and body boarding the waves: the lifeguards prefer the beach goers to stay out the water and, at most, dip their toe in the waves. Thus greatly reducing the risk of anyone drowning and needing to be saved. However, after much small talk and mentioning of how he too was a lifeguard they let him in the sea. 

Along the cliff there are lots of cafes and shops all trying to persuade you to have a look inside. They are good at guilt trips and would say things like, “I’ve been waiting 48 hours for you to just take a look”, but Disco’s mum warned that they are pussy cats compared to the sellers in Delhi so we have that to prepare ourselves for. On the whole the food was pretty good, they obviously cater to Westerners because many of the restaurants served Thai, Tibetan and Chinese food too as well as Italian but we stuck to vegetarian curry and haven’t suffered yet. 

Overall Varkala was a very calm start to our adventure in India. 

Disco’s high: beach.

Disco’s low: having dinner shat on by a sea hawk.

Footluce’s high: mastering the crow pose at yoga.

Footluce’s low: breaking my sunglasses on the beach. 


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